Dental caries prevalence in children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis: a qualitative systematic review and recommendations for future research

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Abstract

Background.

Children and adolescents with cystic fibrosis (CF) are believed to be at low risk for dental caries, but this paradigm has not been critically evaluated.

Aims.

To conduct a qualitative systematic review of the international literature on dental caries prevalence in children and adolescents with CF and make recommendations on future CF-related oral health research priorities.

Design.

The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement was used to identify relevant studies published between 1960 and 2013.

Results.

The search resulted in 696 studies. Fifteen publications were included in the qualitative systematic review. Ten studies concluded that children with CF had significantly lower caries prevalence than control children, three studies reported that children with CF had higher caries prevalence, and two studies found no difference by CF status. Of the seven studies including age-based subgroup analyses, only one study supported the current paradigm. All studies had limitations that may bias study results.

Conclusions.

While children with CF may be a lower risk for dental caries, adolescents with CF may not be at lower caries than those without CF. Additional research is needed to evaluate a potentially flawed paradigm regarding caries risk in children and adolescents with CF.

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